Road Safety News

New decal is designed to save bikers' lives

Thursday 5th September 2013

A new product has been launched that is designed to help save lives of motorcyclists injured in collisions by making it easier for medical first responders to treat them.

The new 'Emergency Pal Helmet Decal' is designed to facilitate speedy treatment from medical staff by transmitting essential information about the rider such as medical history and emergency contact details direct to any kind of mobile phone. Emergency Pal says this is "achieved discretely and effectively through the use of cutting edge mobile technology, coupled with a simple and effective user interface".

Using the Emergency Pal Decal, medical first responders are able to access vital information via a variety of channels, the easiest of which is by simply tapping the NFC enabled decal, which will instantly bring up the rider’s information on any NFC equipped smart phone. It also has a QR code which can be scanned, and if the medical first responder doesn’t have access to NFC technology or a QR code reader, they can simply send a text to the number on the decal.

Ian Cunningham, founder of Emergency PAL, says: “No one plans an accident or emergency. They just happen and in many of these cases the patient cannot respond when asked about their symptoms, medical history or current medication. Medical first responders face an uphill battle to treat them and get them to hospital effectively.

"We hope that our Emergency Pal Decal will make the job of the medical first responders much easier by offering the helmet wearer’s essential medical history, previous medical treatment and current medication data, and emergency contacts simply by interacting with the decal via their mobile device.”

For more information contact Rebecca Appleton on 01623 428996


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You can make up as many systems as you want, but there's 1 that's well proven and been around for decades, it's called a piece of paper in your wallet with your name, address and medical conditions you have plus a I.C.E. number. It doesn't require a signal, code readers, or anything else, just the ability to read English - something that every paramedic/doctor/nurse can.
rick, norfolk

Agree (14) | Disagree (6)

From our local experience in North Yorkshire, motorcycle collisions often happen at remote places on very rural roads where getting any kind of mobile signal is either difficult or impossible. The various systems available, including this latest version, are all good but if you haven't got a smart phone or can't get a signal, only the card in the helmet works. Perhaps it isn't either/or but both?
Honor Byford, North Yorkshire

Agree (9) | Disagree (0)

What about
Been going for a while!
Nick Edwards

Agree (4) | Disagree (1)

Having important medical information readily available to the responding medical clinician is quite frankly essential. A programme already exists and is already well known to EMS.

Its Called CRASH Card and it's stored inside the rider's helmet on a business card, no QD code scanners, No bar codes, no usb sticks, no text messages to send, completely confidential as the rider can remove it if they lend their lid to someone else (not so on this sticker programme... wrong info for that patient, ouch!) In our tests it takes up to 10 minutes to send/receive info by sms or email or scan. One assumes there will be safeguards against undesirables getting my info.

If someone is unresponsive the helmet has to come off. All the paramedic needs to do with a crash card is look inside the helmet (it takes less than a second) to get everything they need to know about the rider. As said above "simple" but as we know in real life very very effective both here in the UK and in the USA where it has saved lives.

CRASH Card is free, there will be a new website coming soon with full information but for now look at

Ian Burrell, Paramedic DSA Motorcycle Instructor, General Secretary Ambulance Motorcycle Club.
Ian Burrell Essex

Agree (18) | Disagree (1)

In response to Chris in Gloucestershire. I looked at the Crash card system but I felt it was flawed in respect that to access the information someone would have to fish around in my helmet lining or attempt removal of my helmet when there is a possibility of me suffering spinal/neck injuries just to get the info. This EPal's info can be retrieved without having to move someone. Any phone made can access the info, doesn`t have to be NFC.
Chris.. Nottingham

Agree (6) | Disagree (5)

There is already a free card being distributed internationaly. The CRASH cards were created by the Ambulance Motorcycle Club, these cards carry all relevant information and are placed inside the helmet with a green dot stuck to the outside to notify medics of the card's presence.

Relying on a medic's phone & an internet/phone signal connection is surely likely to waste valuable time and increase the risk of being unable to obtain the information.

The CRASH cards are distributed FOC by many RSPs Police Forces, Bikesafe to name but a few. I don't see the need for another system and a system which appears to incur a substantial cost to the rider.
Chris, Gloucestershire

Agree (10) | Disagree (1)

Have a look at where they are promoting the Mediform tube via Rob Winn (me) at Lancashire CC Road Safety Group. The tube idea has been developed from the original concept of The Ambulance Motorcycle Club with their permission and together with Lancashire Air Ambulance and Ambulance Service. Each tube contains all the basic info a paramedic needs to help a rider in the golden hour. Simple, effective and works with no technology! Medical info card inside tube, tube attached to bike keys, key shaped sticker on helmet, extra card inside helmet! Simples!
Rob Winn

Agree (8) | Disagree (0)

The info about the card says, "All the Medical 1st Responder needs to do is either tap the EMERGENCY PAL decal with an NFC enabled phone, scan the QR code or text the EMERGENCY PAL number to receive all your Emergency Data in seconds…"

I have to ask will all emergency responders have an NFC enabled phone, would this be an issued phone or the responder's own phone?

And are emergency first responders aware - the various ambulance services around the country. I have an interest as I have been pushing and set a version of the Ambulance Motorcycle Club Crash Card in Northern Ireland.
Trevoir Baird

Agree (7) | Disagree (0)

Agree with most comments on here and I have just had a brief chat with Ian Cunningham the founder of Emergency Pal. He is quite receptive to the work we do as road safety professionals and any suggestions you make on here will be picked up unless you want to contact him directly. One decal is meant to be placed either side of the helmet so that at least one is visible if the rider is laying down on their side. Don't forget that this works for anyone who wears a helmet and that includes cyclists!
Joe - Sefton

Agree (13) | Disagree (1)

I think its a great idea. As a motorcyclist and car driver I will purchasing both - decal on my helmet and card in my wallet.
Chris Nottingham

Agree (8) | Disagree (1)

What a fantastic idea. I looked and they also provide a smart card version.
Angie, London

Agree (6) | Disagree (1)

I agree the idea is ideal for motorcycles where the info tag can be attached to a helmet that is used only by one person. However, in a car or other vehicle if the info tag is attached to a vehicle then potential issues may arise where multiple drivers use the same vehicle. All motorcyclists in the UK with one exception must wear a helmet ideal for the tag, but not all drivers must carry a wallet for the info tag location.

Agree (11) | Disagree (0)

Fantastic idea but I have to ask - what if one of those undesirable folk out there, are able to scan your helmet and gain access to all your personal information? Just your name and DOB are very useful when applying for some things on line. But I do agree it is a very good idea for those who are involved in a RTC and cannot communicate with their rescuers.
Stuart Rochdale

Agree (12) | Disagree (0)

Excellent idea - what are the chances of extending the scheme to all road users? Sometimes people in car accidents are unable to communicate, it would be so useful. Graham Bacon, Safety Train, Woksop, Notts.
Safety Train, Worksop, Notts

Agree (9) | Disagree (0)